Catasauqua Press

Thursday, May 23, 2019
Press photos by Paul CmilArtists paint under the direction of Christine Unger, of Canvas and Cabernet, during a fundraiser in November to benefit Nelson and Nicole Rodriguez. Nelson was diagnosed with nonseminoma cancer. Press photos by Paul CmilArtists paint under the direction of Christine Unger, of Canvas and Cabernet, during a fundraiser in November to benefit Nelson and Nicole Rodriguez. Nelson was diagnosed with nonseminoma cancer.
Local residents show off the paintings they made at the event, held at Gas House Dance Hall, Front Street, Catasauqua. Local residents show off the paintings they made at the event, held at Gas House Dance Hall, Front Street, Catasauqua.

Fundraiser at dance hall aids family after cancer diagnosis

Wednesday, December 26, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

When locals Nelson and Nicole Rodriguez received the cancer diagnosis, they were devastated.

Nelson, the family’s sole breadwinner, was diagnosed with nonseminoma cancer. This particular cancer attacks men specifically. If diagnosed early, there is a high cure rate.

The important thing for Nelson was to get the proper treatment — and soon. Unfortunately, with him out of work, they had some trouble keeping up with their bills.

Friends of the family talked to Christine Unger, of Canvas and Cabernet. The idea was to set up a fun, intimate fundraiser where everyone could get together. As her business moniker implies, Unger leads a painting class for amateur artists featuring a couple glasses of wine. This November event was BYOB, so all the donations benefited the Rodriquez family.

Unger sponsors events at various venues like the one for the Rodriguez family, but she also has classes in Walnutport.

The venue was Gas House Dance Hall, Front Street, Catasauqua. Owner Vicky Bartholomew heard of the family’s plight from Unger and some of her regular Blocker’s Coffeehouse customers. Bartholomew donated the hall for the event.

The evening raised $700. Nicole plans to use the funds for a hotel room and travel expenses, so she can be with her husband during his treatment.

Kindred spirits can be a powerful tool against cancer.